Letter: Pool referendum unfair to fringe taxpayers

This letter is to inform voters in the Central Cariboo Recreation Service Area what a yes vote on the Pool Referendum means.

Editor:

This letter is to inform voters in the Central Cariboo Recreation Service Area (Recreational Fringe) what a yes vote on the Pool Referendum means.

On Nov 15, eligible voters, tax payers and residents, will vote to decide whether or not to authorize the CRD to borrow up to $10 million over 20 years.

The CRD has published maps in the news showing who gets to vote; such as 150 Mile House, Wildwood, Esler, Sugarcane, Flett, North and South Lakeside, Fox Mountain, Dog Creek, the City of Williams Lake and others.

The rest of Areas D, E and F have equal access to the pool facility but do not vote or pay taxes towards the pool.  They must however, purchase a Recreation Access Pass to get the same user rates as fringe residents.

What does a Yes vote mean when it hits your wallet? Currently your recreation taxes hover about $92 per $100,000 of assessed value — a yes vote pushes them to a maximum of $148 per $100,000.

On Oct. 29, Page A8, the Tribune published CRD figures showing current and estimated tax increase numbers for both CRD and City tax payers.

Taxes for a home valued at $150,000 go from $137 to $222, a $250,000 home rises from $228 to $370 and a $350,000 home jumps from $319 to $518. Higher valued properties increase accordingly.

These numbers are important because a Recreation Access Pass for CRD residents outside the Recreational Fringe — like Big Lake and Chimney Lake, is currently $143.02 plus tax and rising to $145.88 plus tax in 2015. This means that, all fringe taxpayers with property assessed over $111,000 (CRD tax rate $148/100000 estimated maximum) must pay more in tax than any non-fringe resident family Access Pass ($145.88 plus tax 12 per cent) for the same pool and facility privileges — other taxpayers must pay more. More to the point; a non-fringe resident in a $350,000 home pays the $145.88 bucks if and only if they want a Recreation Access Pass and the fringe resident in a similar home, must pay $518 in tax, regardless of whether they use the facility or not.

The end result is that everyone has equal access but fringe taxpayers must pay –– others have the option. It’s not fair — it needs to change. Vote No to the referendum and tax increases.

Rob Gordon

North Lakeside/Area F

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